'Merica & Kiwiland

‘Merica; Land of the Free… and I’ll warrant the tempted and hungry. More on that later. 

Polite, kind, supportive, invested, honest, open and truthful get-up-and-goers- ‘Mericans tickle me pink. My friends here are fun, and they indulge their inner children. I love that. There is an abundance of genuine pleasantries in the United States. Doors are held open, I hear ‘thank you’s’, ‘please’s’, ‘Ma’am’s, ‘Sir’s’ and other kindnesses. I have conversations on the street corner, I stop and am invited into occurrences in passing, I am welcomed into people’s homes, businesses and places of recreation and gatherings with affection; and I experience hospitality the way it used to be. Traditional, yes, Sir, ‘Merica is traditional; it’s really refreshin’. 

It has also put into perspective how unique and diverse our family systems are in Kiwiland- we are quite avant-guard in comparison to other Western countries; we are much more unorthodox than most realise; aaand because of misinformation broadcast to us by the powers that be, it’s no wonder we have an identity crisis and lack solidarity. Our collective identity as ‘New Zelanders’ is fractured into ethnic groups and a screaming class system. We are can be very modern, we can be very relaxed in some aspects, but we are also very divisive. We have outdated impressions, stereotypical media ones and misappropriated governmental ones. I don't think as a collective we really know who or what we are or where we want to go as a group. 

New York City; one of my favourite cities, you are just a small stop on this adventure. Predominantly I have been in Florida, in Long Island and now upstate New York; Duchess County. MYYY GAWWD that last one has enraptured me. An myyyy GAWWD am I thankful to be back for a reprise in the provinces. This US experience has given me a much different perspective on the Untied citizens- and one which has made me happy with a new appreciation for this population.

It’s a different side to ‘Merica that I see this time around. It was fourteen years ago I was last here- a whipper snapper let loose in New York city for two and a half weeks to experience the Art World, visit famous galleries and meet with established and famous creatives. A lot has changed. My adventure in 2003 was 2 1/2 years after the September 11th massacre.  But rather than sadness there was a great amount of hope, a huge amount of fizz and a lot of passion directed to going forwards and recovering from what had happened. 

New York was LOUD- and really fuckin sassy- it was my kinda place at that point. It’s a much quieter city now 14 years later; actually shockingly so. It feels muzzled to me, unfortunately it kinda feels a little more like any other big city. People are plugged in; with headphones and necks bent their energies are directed internal and overwhelmingly down. There is much less chatter, there is no honking of the cabs and the mega corporations have squeezed out family owned businesses. There is a feeling.. a funny feeling of loss. That big city ache yeah, ya see it in peoples faces, ya can feel it in the air. The high’s are bigger here, but the low’s equally cavernous. Cities have a way of amplifying emotion and experience; they can be the best of places and they can be Hell on Earth- it can be a dog-eat-dog kinda world out there with a very small buffer zone. I felt last time that was moderated by people’s expressions and authenticity of behaviour. New Yorkians told it like it was. That release valve of an outburst seemed to put a place to natural order- it legitimised the complexities of living in this rat-race and lattice of high-rises. Now without this presence, it has been replaced with a simmer, with a glare. This aside, it’s addictive, a sensory explosion and a place of indulgence for the intellect, the mind and the pocket. 

Traveling – Leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.
— Adeeb Alhasanat 

I’m nostalgic?- perhaps, sometimes the stories which are woven are not always of light and laughter. It can be confronting what we can see if we are able to make comparisons. Unfortunately, it is one of the sadder parts of travel I find, seeing what was and what now is; making comparisons with how things were and how they now are… maybe that’s why I’m always going places I haven't before. Familiarity makes my perspective of digging deep to look as with child’s eyes; with wonder and amusement, a little more complex. Sometimes, it can be a battle not to be jaded- it takes a lot of work to choose to look for the good in places without comparison to the past.. a technique well utilised upon ourselves and others as they grow also. 

Being a motobabe; driving and riding around the world, gives me a huge amount of experience within different culture’s driving styles and systems. America is fair with a rather accurate assessment of safe speeds to drive on their roads. Or perhaps this is explained better from the other end. In NZ, our corners are marked a particular speed. A skilled driver knows that at times they can be taken 10 or 20km faster than this with correct road positioning, acceleration and condition appraisal. It doesn’t build a sense of faith within the transport system when you know the information being provided to you is inaccurate or overly cautious. Cars are being built safer, to handle greater speeds, and humans are more skilled and trained drivers.

Overseas countries (in particular Italy) takes these considerations into account within their infrastructures. There are toll roads which allow those who want to travel at higher speeds the luxury to do so, there is ‘margin of error’ accounted for within measuring speeds, there is acceptance within drivers to keep right to let others pass if they want to. There is an educated and mature approach to human process i.e. excellerating out of a corner or overtaking another vehicle, and, thus an educated and mature approach to speeding infringements. E.g 4km (2.4 miles) over the speed limit is not warrant for a $60 fine. Adjacent to another project of mine, I really enjoyed having the opportunity to talk with a Sherif about the strategies and systems they employ over here in New York to uphold standards yet be fair within them. * I’ll have ya note I’m not writing this because I have a problem with tickets- I’ve never been issued a speeding ticket by a police officer, I like fairness and I'm not a fan of people being set up to fail. Anxiety can be personally crippling, but it also causes other obstructions.

Post publishing this blog I came across this relevant article on the 13th of Oct '17 in the Dominion Post. 

As a motorcyclist it is immensely dangerous to be nervous or panicky about being 4km over the limit. Doing stupid reactions like slamming ones brakes on after seeing a cop or camera can have catastrophic repercussions- plus it’s totally useless, they’ve already got you on radar by the time you see them- however it's not going to win you point by not shaving off that speed- it's about unfair margins. It’s not great being behind a car which decides to do shock braking either- I always have a large following distance precisely for these occurrences and because more time, gives one more space for reaction.. to annnything.

Travellers to NZ, be warned of ‘zero tolerance’. Perhaps we should look a this in a broader context eh.. I would argue we have a rather ‘zero tolerance’ to a lot of things. 

Here’s a controversial one for you. We are getting more access, experience and training within cars which are engineered for better handling and have more advanced safety features. With more people travelling internationally, and more people being exposed to driving in different environments we are all become increasingly confident and skilled, each generation improving upon the former. Why are our systems not taking this is into consideration? Why is there excessive moderation? These slogans about ‘speed kills’ are not entirely true- there are many states here in America where the speed limit has been slowly increased (75mph/ 120km.. and even up to 85mph/ 137km) with no increase in fatalities. In the US and other countries I have visited, there is an emphasis on monitoring and improving routes, roads and freeways; in NZ we upgrade infrastructure but we lack a reassessment of the quality of these new resources. Or another way to look at it is that we cater to the lowest denominator- the 1989 Corolla with no so good braking... There are many cultures around the world where people are given the respect to develop their talents and opportunity to take responsibility for them. Ok, I’m going to prod the stick further for the sake of it- You know those boy racers- instead of fining them and taking away the things they love why not offer them an opportunity to up-skill and go track?.. Out there? Well there are places where we are giving addicts a place to shoot up, providing them with needles and a nurse incase they overdose (NY, Melbourne come to mind).. bit backwards isn't it if you support one demographic excelling at a choice yet not another… 

Here in the US there are new cameras at intersections. Flashing for infringements, particularly at night, they can give ya an awful fright. Even after one knows they are there, they’re really unnerving. It’s startling, it breaks your concentration and it doesnt make anyone a better driver. Again, being nervous, edgy and fearful is counterproductive to any human in any situation. With the increases in GPS navigation, the erratic nature of people’s driving by taking directions has hit a new high in my experience also... I raise my hand to doing a precariously executed one of these in a car recently myself. I preempt you making a last minute turn cos ya’ve overshot the intersection buddy.. I empathise- it’s ok, I try to have that generous following distance to allow for erratic incidences. It’s not a catastrophic event if we miss the route- there’s a thing called ‘re-route’, oh, and there’s those old skool things called ‘signs’ and ‘sense of direction’. What’s going to happen to us without training this facet of intuition?… strangely when one thing is lost another thing grows- I'm intrigued with what this will be.

It can be fun to be lost, and I can guarantee you, Google doesn't give you the cool back routes with funky ass shyit off the main track yo. Useful for getting from A-B yes, great for people with physical and mental difficulties, anxiety issues and a plethora of other situations- but for Joe Smith? Short term benefit v long term lack of developed skill is an interesting concept to ponder. As is learning the harder option then having the easier as a back up plan. The only way to overcome anxiety and nervous disorders is to decompartmentalise the problems and chip away at them by calmly evaluating whether the panic is justified. I hate seeing things which just make this more difficult for us. 

ALL of the above is totally trivial and pathetic when it is placed next to the big issues that NZ really needs to get it's teeth into. Issues which are hidden, repressed and rarely given airtime or promoted by the government (or our communities) as fundamentals that need to be fixed and assessed. Highest infant mortality rates in the developed world, highest suicide rates in the developed world, children born of incest, domestic violence, inflated and extreme cost of living, three times the cost of anywhere else in the world to build housing, lack of housing, excessive taxes and rates and a quality of life which is low. Pathetic levels of remuneration, no appreciation for skill, corrupt business and law standards, grossly polluted waterways and land and severely behind in keeping up with new eco standards. LOOOOW and poor. Not the 'clean green' or super amazing we tell the population or advertise ourselves as at all. Oh and as a side note- a democracy is not supposed to be a duopoly- swinging back between two major parties which are only regurgitating the same bullshit year in year out will NOT ever change things.

Humm, I need to changed the topic; If we want to talk in a sense of experience and training. The former being shown something, the latter being given the tools to undertake that skill further we could bring in this example; the Dunning Kruger effect. The more we can help people recognise positive skills then they can develop these. The more we can give people direction, purpose and opportunity to develop their passions, the more likely they are to find their skillsets.

 Dunning and Kruger proposed that, for a given skill, incompetent people will:

    1    tend to overestimate their own level of skill;

    2    fail to recognise genuine skill in others; 

    3    fail to recognise the extremity of their inadequacy; 

    4    recognise and acknowledge their own previous lack of skill, if they are exposed to training for that skill.

Basically this states that;

The more you know, the less competent you think you are because you know there is so much you don’t know.

The less you know, the more you think you know because you don’t know what you don’t know.

There is no shortcut , there is so much you don’t know without experience.

E.g it's taken me years to hone my skills as a motorcyclist. From originally riding a trike, to a bicycle, to being a pillion, to owning increasingly powerful motorbikes, to now owning a high performance racing bike. But in order to do this, I firstly learned by observation, participated through many stages of learning at different skill levels and then continuing to up-skill and learn as a rider. I took and I take advanced rider corses, I learn about the mechanics and physics of machines and I interact with seasoned riders, racers and enthusiasts. None of this is finite, I am always learning, I am always seeking. 

That's one side of the coin, the other is the Dude or Dudette who fronts up with the cash and buys a high performance machine and feels they can do the same thing that I can without any experience or training. In other words, they don't know what they don't know, a dangerous situation and an accident waiting to happen. 

We can use this example in driving a vehicle, we could use this for making art, we could use this in understanding the finer details of human relationship, of astronomy & astrophysics, of medicine... the list is endless. Our conceptualisations are totally relative to our perceptions and current knowledge. Fundamentals of base theories are just ideas that have consensus. The most critical part of Dunning and Kruger theory is that incompetent people 'fail to recognise genuine skill in others'. This happens with employers, this happens with friends and peers... this happens with family, this happens with criticisms upon things that are radical or unconventional. It's at the kernel of 'Tall Poppy Syndrome'... it is incredibly detrimental to growth and performance from any viewpoint. 

It's also a fascinating effect that by it's nature comes hand-in-hand with being adventurous, exploring new things and taking risks. Bit of a mind bending balancing act aint it! For if one doesn't have courage and balls to push the envelope past what is established (either personal or external) then one would never find out what they don't know; if one dosen't have experience then one cannot ever be faced with ones incompetencies or shortfalls. Here's where an injection of humility is useful. In New Zealand, an island nation insulated from direct influence and moderation from neighbours (our closest one we have come to hate as the wealthier bigger brother who left us behind) there is a breeding ground for people to hold insensible ideas without being moderated by close interaction or having ease of access to experiences which show up insensibilities. NZ has laws unto it's own which although may seem on the surface to be like other places, are not; bullying, corporate mentality and oppressive tyrannical conduct is commonplace both in personal and professional spheres. As a society we are static, complacent, lack any faith in leadership, naively dutiful and lead by false information. If we keep our head buried in the sand thinking we know everything and thing's are ok; acting superior and arrogant in our assumptions, we are going to become further disillusioned, further alienated from how the rest of the world is progressing, more discontent and feel only envy. Jealousy is at the root to a lot of what is simmering in Kiwiland- when are we going to have the courage to admit this and deal with it? 

Our teeny kiwi guniea pig society gets subjected to all sorts of hair brained schemes. Often completely out of our control. Someone has a great new idea, and NZ becomes the testing ground for it. It’s not by accident that we are at the forefront of technological integration- take the implementation of Eftpos for example. We have had card cash since 1985 when The Bank of New Zealand started rolling it out in petrol stations. Pull out cold hard chachinga to pay in Aotearoa and people assume it’s from illegitimate means or you're a drug dealer because people have become so conditioned to this method- the rest of the world ain’t so unguarded towards those big banks and ‘Big Brother’s’.. neither am I. It makes me angry that because of our relative isolation and docile societal temperament we have our liberties of choice narrowed. It’s much harder to coerce a bigger population into doing a particular method by removing established practices to leave only one or two options. I could trickle into discussing the prevalence of duopolies and market cornering here too… thankfully our population is also small enough to sustain a counter-act to some of this, with boutique markets and a DIY mindset... and we are ingenious, enterprising and creative- but we're loosing the capacity to be like this because we are so repressed by the cost of living, pissed about what we are 'made to do' and bitchy to each other. It concerns me immensely how unnecessary restrictions are being enforced upon New Zealander’s liberties- and for those who choose less popular ones they are faced with inferences of shadiness. It's hard to have an open minded view point when you're living in a closed mind world. 

Money in itself is a funny thing in NZ- it's not loved, its not encouraged and it is shrouded in inferences that if you are good at making it you must be corrupt. Especially if you do so outside established systems i.e a 9-5 or one 'job title'. These restrictions; these often invisible parameters, as with diet, as with behaviour, as with social repression or idealism only creates additional problems, and when it all boils down, societal systems are never really in place for ‘safety’ or for ‘protection’ they are there to gather revenue. 

The most detrimental of these was the introduction of Tourism to NZ. It is only recently I have realised how much this has damaged our country. It is the local who has paid the price for how we have sold ourselves out to the world. We whored our land like pimps, raping Mother Nature and the unique New Zealand culture for the pennies in others pockets. The cost of living increased, the scramble for resources increased, our genuine desire to meet with other cultures dropped and it has become about revenue, hold out ya hand for more revenue… but this didn't help out the little guy. We failed to implement procedures to gather moolie form travellers as they entered the country or locations of significance i.e. Queenstown and so to make money the prices of basics and infrastructure was hiked. I’d be surprised if the average NZd’r would even consider travelling down that way anymore- it’s extremely expensive for a NZD earner to stay there because the accomodation, food and activities are out of proportion to what people can earn. If there is no fee for foreigners to see our amazing culture and sights, then it is gathered from the incidentals; food, accom, basic transport infrastructure etc- but this just additionally penalises the local who also has to pay the jumped up prices yet isn't earning foreign currency. 

Who are places for if not for the people who look after them and give their lives and love to sustaining them?

There is an exotic location I have been scoping out. There are a limited amount of tourists allowed in the country at one time. There is a $250 USD (at peak season, $200 off season) fee PER DAY for being in the country. You are only allowed to travel on pre-approved tours with licensed guides and in particular areas of the country. You are charged a ‘foreign national fee’ for entering places of religious and environmental significance and there are two prices, one for local, one for visitor. Fair deal if you ask me (although I agree this example is on the steeper side), how badly do you want to do something? How much do you value it? If it’s a ‘meh’ to either of those, don't go. If you like what they have, or if you would like to see it in person, then find a way to dig deep and pay for this luxury. NZ we were desperate, we let our leaders sell us out because we didn't know better and now WE are paying the price. We were scared to hold ourselves with integrity, we were scared of ‘loosing out’ and now we are at deficit to the choices and strategies that were implemented. This must change. We need to look after NZ and put our people first with first opportunity. We have all the behaviours of a dysfunctional family- we can do better than this. 

Below is an informative video, given to me today just before publishing this bog post. It is from a man I greatly respect, it shoots from the hip with eye opening statistics and it talks about topics close to my heart from a similar perspective. 

… ok, I’m metaphorically going back to the U.S. of A. 

Food. Food here is BIIIIG. Always has been in my experience; in mass and in obsession. Yet, there is SO much misleading information and it is extremely hard to eat well through all this temptation. I love a doggy bag though cheers ‘Merica- yet sometimes with all this stuff in-front of me, it can be hard to remember that it’s not totally necessary to have to finish it all in one go. 

The billboards, the places, the signages, the overflow of fast food drive-though outlets, the misleading labels, the constant calorie numbers on menus.. it’s a minefield. Originally those calorie numbers came from the litigation culture here, but it now encourages a much more unhealthy obsession. Humans should be encouraged to eat well rounded not by numbers- it can only end up in people feeling resentful and unfulfilled. A little of what you like does you good- or everything in moderation yeah? 

Here’s a few truths. Eating fat does not make you fat. I.e. eating a high calorie meal at the right time with whole food fats and produce is NOT bad for you. Low calorie foods will send you crazy with the chemicals in them trying to trick your mind and metabolism into thinking you have food love. The more food stuff ya see, the more any human is going to feel hungry- that’s a basic primal reaction; billboards, driving past outlets, reading cook books, or advertisements online, on telly or just ON everywhere. The nutrients within a particular fruit or whole food need all the other bits to be ingested properly and to absorb the vitamins within- i.e the whole raspberry has all sorts of goodies in it as the whole thing- it’s not the same benefits when the vitamins or elements within a product are separated out and added into something completely different. Feeling ‘bad’ about eating a treat food, or something hi cal does a huge amount of damage to a person- this only makes one feel they have ‘failed’ at eating well, or have ‘fallen off the bandwagon’ by doing something incorrect. If an entire nation is encouraged to drive everywhere, it ain’t gunna encourage a person to get out and walk to get their produce and meals AAAAAND my fuck; Eggs with added hormones to make harder shells??! Milk with additives left right and centre (read the fine-print) scary flavoured creamer… Bread with added sugar (everything with added sugar.. check out some of those chemical names #wolfinsheepsclothing), Chicken breast the length of 1/2 my forearm *largest chook I’ve ever seen- hey Arnie the Chiketo… Hummus with added sweeties and food colourings.. fresh juice? Bet you it aint… 

Here's a fact- sugar makes you hungry. Sugar in anything makes you crave more. Sugar is mostly unnecessary in our diets except in moderation through fresh fruit and other natural places, as it aids digestion. At times of illness, pregnancy and other unusual instances it can be very helpful- but for Joe Average it's totally not needed within the products we see through foodstuff manufacting. Going ‘gluten free’- umm, well what they replace those ingredients with is… Sugar was designed and is programmed primally within us to make us gorge. Fact. It’s not something an intellect can override. Adding it into an empty tummy is like setting off a panic to your metabolism. “Feed meee"… “feed meee anything” it will cry. Add it in moderation, infrequently and at the right times i.e.- within a balanced meal and it wont feel so much like shooting up. The less ya have it, the less it appeals, and after a rather small amount of time, it really does icky stuff to you if you do have it i.e- the shakes, temple migraines, that erratic sweaty eyeball feeling.. just kind of grossness really.

Therapeutic dose- it’s medical terminology referring to when the use of a substance benefits the user in the short term. Take any chemical addition into the body past this point; either natural or synthetic in form and it will have become a poison. 

Big deal? It is to those of us who these additives (sugar, colouring, preservatives, I would say even all these ‘good extras’ e.g. protein, calcium, etc) set off chemical reactions where they compel us to seek more food love, to try to fill ourselves up or which create reactions, sensitivities and allergies to some demographics. There are those of us who additionally have an emotional reaction to chemicals, both natural and synthetic.. more and more I am finding out this also has something to do with hormonal fluctuations. For others, food is simply fuel, but I think more and more we are seeing prevalence in the former examples; those who perceive food as fuel most certainly are a minority. I think some of us unconsciously like to be jacked around by sensations more than others, and this capacity, when out of balance has the propensity to lead us into also sorts of temptations and experiences. 

It’s at times like this when I’m travelling that I get twangs of longing for NZ… ‘Merica does it to me and so does Japan- it’s a sugar minefield over there. I get to a point where I miss clean air and less of this crap. I am so thankful for a lesser level of this infiltration at home. But it is there- the star ratings, the calorie lists, the ‘health food’ stands.. it’s all a creapin’ in and it’s all marketing peps. They don't give a fuck about your health- they care about your moolie. It’s fads and quick ‘fixes’… actually they are long term muck ups cos they really are just a waste of time and emotion. The mega corporations (although once in a while are taaaasty!) are filled with preservatives, fillers, fake ingredients and additives- by taking out Mr & Mrs local corner shop who is making meals from scratch and smaller quantities, we again have less access to whole produce and more access to chemicals. Nothing but three healthy meals a day with limited sugar, balanced green, fibre, carbs, fats and whole protein will sustainably do the trick for a healthy diet and weight balance in my experience. Aiming for some number? If you're doing this and it’s not the magic bingo… well then honeybee that’s not what you are supposed to be. Wouldn't you rather be glowy and happy than skinny and miserable? Do I eat shit? of course! I love food!- all varieties of food and I get the most enormous F.O.M.O (fear of missing out) if I don't have what I want or crave, but I’m careful about timing, I’m careful about portions, I’m aware of my mental state, who I am with and trigger stress related situations, and I try to not internally berate and then punish myself. Did three lifetimes worth of that in a past life- didn't get me anywhere. I need what I like, life’s too short to miss out. If I can be in an environment where I am not constantly attacked with this barrage I am a much, much happier human. Plus, the more one is worried about food, the more intense it is. If we are relaxed and at ease with it, ‘treats’ don't = ‘freaks’.... yep cheezy but true.

It’s on those notes, and by escaping that barrage that I am thankful and privileged to be currently upstate in New York. With the Hudson river close by, the open big clear sky, the sounds of the birds, fresh grass, big trees and open paddocks. It’s heaven, it’s my heaven being back in the countryside and near moving water. City life? It’s my thing for short bursts, but my happy place is of vistas green, gold, blue and pale pale eggshell. I grew up with this luxury of city to country, and it is within these juxtapositions that I love and adore them each for their own benefits, for both environments teach me appreciation for the other. If you have no measure stick, no comparison, how are you to ever know what is so wonderful or valuable about a particular thing, place, person or experience? 

There is so much opportunity within larger populations. There are so many more people of ‘kind’ to find and share similar concepts and thoughts with, there are so many more people available who see the worth in creativity, creative investment, supporting ambitious dreams and projects of desire which sometimes have no other purpose than just being fucking cool things to do. There is a societal infrastructure which loves success in America and it truly is a place where you can chisel a spot for yourself doing something rather unusual and have a customer base to support it. There is love for doing things that make you happy, helping each other get there, and finding a way to maintain being there for an extended period. 

Lets say, in addition there is the capacity for longer periods in the limelight… or at least a self made glow. In NZ this can become brief and rather unsustainable. It is also why a lot of us become very good at many things, because time on top is not continuously feasible for long, because there isn't really anything up there except for your head above a parapet lined with daggers and disesteem, unlike here, there is minimal support. There is a bulletproof ceiling of ‘fair remuneration’ and and even more repressive one that implies one should ‘be thankful for ones job or opportunity as is’. It is not the physical reality of getting to the top of your profession which is the hardest- it is the phycological barrage which is so damaging, depleting and exhausting.

A child growing up in the states might have a higher statistic of being shot in a drive by, but the chances of them taking their own life by suicide or having other emotional, mental and spiritual problems are faaaaar lower than in Aotearoa. Keep in mind- there are only 4 million of us in comparison also.

Under one UNICEF heading, 'Ensuring Health and Well-Being', NZ country was placed 38th place out of 41. (41 being the worst measuer). This also covered indicators such as the neonatal mortality rate and the teenage birth rate. The comments about adolescent suicide were particularly damning. The report found New Zealand had the worst rate in the world at 15.6 per 100,000 people in the designated age bracket (15-19). This was substantially higher than the next worst countries, Lithuania, Finland, Chile and Ireland, and more than eight times worse than the best performing countries, Italy and Portugal. It was twice as bad as the American youth suicide rate and almost five times worse than Britain's.

"Youth suicide is an avoidable reality in New Zealand, but it is not being adequately tackled", mental health experts say. Really? Let me explain something from someone who's been there- it's prevalent in all striations of society and it's entirely linked into the bullying and psychological abuse we subject each other to. 

NZ struggles with people in the limelight extensively, I've talked about this before, but I want to say this again, because if we were truthful about what is happening, we can find a way to take the sting out of this and pave a way for next generations to not be subjected to this abuse. Basking in a well deserved glow is seen as hogging it, blowing your trumpet, or preventing others from having their go. Every industry is ruthless at the top- it’s human nature to want to be Top Dog; that inevitably requires a change of guard, but in NZ this mentality is exacerbated by a small population who feels marginalised. Don't get me wrong, New York is ruthless, but there are different types of this, and the variety at home is intensely malicious, rooted in envy, spiteful and incredibly vindictive… in comparsion it’s a logical type of harshness here. At home people think there is not as much to go around -or there is a greater perception of lack. This creates a lower tolerance towards people who seem to ‘sit pretty’, or even those that are ambitious and determined to achieve their goals; and a culture that lacks integrity and courage to stand and support parties in conflict or dissent. People are way too invested in other people's business also and where their lifestyles come from- it's always so refreshing for me to be overseas and not have to reply to the stock standard question after 2 minutes of meeting someone of 'what do you do?'. At home you don't find a lot of people courageous enough to put their head on the line for a cause (or a friendship either work or personal) for it affecting future prospects, current prospects, working relationships, social structure or the big one when it really comes down to it.. money. Remuneration honey- money has an evil way of swaying opinion and buying allegiance. NZ deals are not ones where two parties come out winners and walk away happy- there is a winner and there is always a big looser 

Once we have achieved or mastered a situation within a ripple there isn't an automatic pass out card to things being easy or smooth sailing. In my experience as soon as I have felt I've got it sorted, or I am 'sitting pretty' the game changes; I can guarantee I will be thrown a life curveball. In my experience the ripples get more complex, the challenges within them more elaborate, and the skills required to keep going forwards more involved. Either this 'upping of the stakes' can be self made, or the Universe will kick them in for us.. especially if one has become comfortable or complacent. It's a pretty horrific environment to live within constantly battling power-plays from all angles.  

I’ll share my understandings about ruthlessness however, it only perpetrates fear and with this in prevalence, there is no freedom of exploration, freedom of expression or the playfulness of invention. There is also becomes much less honesty and openness.

Money does not and never will buy true loyalty. By nature this quality is one built between each other over time. It takes trust, it takes integrity, it take the initiative to work things out between parties face-to-face and it takes the king hitter of all- respect. For a nerdy assessment, this last one is defined in the dictionary as:

re·spect | rəˈspekt/ noun


    1    a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements."the director had a lot of respect for Douglas as an actor"

    2    synonyms: esteem, regard, high opinion, admiration, reverence, deference, honour "the respect due to a great artist”

Often it is found in abundance in places you may not expect. Places and people who run their own set of rules, not ones dictated to them. Seeming chaos has unspoken rules, so do people who live unorthodox lifestyles, and in my experience their concepts of fairness and estimation are often resolute, instinctive, unwavering and built upon practical knowledge. True respect for another is not illustrated by using someone for self purpose or gain nor using them as a pawn within manipulations or a system; nor putting up with them because they serve a scheme.  

True business is not done between companies, it is done between people
— Garth Hogan

Never underestimate the power of human connection. We can soon dismiss an email but it is very hard to forget a person who we’ve dined with, laughed with or spoke in person with- for better or worse impressions. The power of intuition is apparent through interaction; that happens between people not through emails. Intimacy is corporeal; true ‘business’ is intimate. Go for a walk, go for lunch, get on an aeroplane, go try something new. 

People make their own minds up about others or situations. Some believe the hype, others their own assumptions. In my experience, humanity likes fantasy; people like to spin stories to inflate their sense of self importance and social standing- they ‘know things’, we’re all guilty of this just by having an opinion. Really at the end of the day, who cares? What another ‘knows’ when dished with cattiness and venom is of no relevance to the bigger picture- one which only the individual can paint, with or without assistance and most brilliantly with positivity.

I like to sleep at night, I have a conscience, and I’ll always defer to that bigger picture and the long game. ‘Conscience’ doesn’t mean goody-two-shoes, it means I’ll stand by my decisions. I’m happy to wait things out, I know the rewards patience and kindness brings, and more importantly how the world has a natural order to righting itself. I shut down on those who threaten my ability to focus on where I am going and try to derail my thoughts. People are special, places are special- I am remorseless in walking away from those who have malicious intent and will ferociously protect my loved ones from those who take pleasure out of spitefully attacking others for self gain. 

If we make choices which align with our fundamentals then bravely standing up for our beliefs becomes a simple decision. How someone else perceives these beliefs is up to a plethora of variables- I don't need to be in combat with people about these. We collect our own kind consciously and unconsciously through tribal behaviours, external representation, mannerisms, energies and many other associations and familiarisations and it is a natural part of this that at times we grate upon each other. How we deal with this is the true measure of ones metal- making a remorseless decision doesn’t have to psychologically or physically affect another person- we can simply decide to be honest about our position, disclose this and make actions to disengage. We always have choices toward aligning our sympathies and principles. They take but seconds to implement and some of the most powerful and profound are when choose a ‘no’ rather than a ‘yes’.


It has been an exciting and demanding few weeks creating and seeking opportunities for India!

I love working with children and young ones one-on-one and sharing my passion for creativity and design. Ever since I was a child I have really enjoyed being a part of days or afternoons of artistic activity; learning new things with other people and sharing and interacting while doing so is really cool, and worthwhile. Ya see, it’s not just about what you are doing, it’s about what you are feeling, talking about with others, sharing and experiencing. It’s about meeting people who challenge you, it’s about meeting people you admire, it’s about seeing things done different ways and it’s about p.l.a.y. ‘engaging in activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose’. Invention, ingenuity and creativity comes from doing things differently, and that doesn’t come too well if it’s panicked about an end game (that can tick along in the sidelines and come back in later). 

A lot of people forget how important it is to be creative. We get caught up in getting ahead and in day-to-day minutiae. But creativity is a fundamental mode of expression, as is being tenacious and standing by your own convictions and passions, even if it’s not the ‘popular’ choice.
— Tabatha Coffey

Sitting solitary at a computer or device can teach and impart many things, but it lacks a personal touch and it only gives one thing- it doesn’t share on more than one platform. 

Those of you who follow my blog or writing will be well aware of my love of spectrums, juxtapositions and qualities. In this life, there are many, many ways to do the same thing, but they can be greatly varied in the beneficial attributes that each way has. I like doing things that hit many bases. I seek things that help others, help me, do things differently, have challenge, are unusual and have the capacity for exploration both mental and physical.

Here’s a relevant comparison for you of what I mean:

Learning how to paint on an IPad.

  • ease of access; linear engagement
  • no need to leave the house, no challenge to find new location
  • only buy/ collect the media for that job- no access to other materials 
  • limited meetings with other people and having to interact and communicate 
  • it's very stop start & interrupted making- flicking back and forth between things
  • relatively low stress/ challenge/ competition with others
  • no time limit 
  • accessable 24/7 and often free
  • relatively static/ low impact physically
  • opportunity for daydream away from the topic
  • it’s only one way- no group brainstorm that leads onto other things 
  • there is no-one to talk to- one cook in the idea kitchen
  • less instigation of creativity sparked from peripheral situations/ exposure to additional things 
  • experience isn't stored in long term memory- no ‘kapow’ factor
  • there is no motivation to ask questions, dispute the learning method or see other ways of doing the same thing
  • there are no bloopers
  • when mistakes happen it’s easy to walk away 


Learning how to paint in a workshop over two days with other people in a different environment, culture and language.

  • all the challenges involved in travel for those attending- new culture and societal structure
  • new city to navigate and find bearings- absolutely necessary to push oneself to interact, talk with others- the journey is just (if not more) important than the course!
  • required to look after yourself and those around you in order to get where you need to go- personal challenge 
  • person may be challenged to have to lead or take a role they otherwise would not do in ‘normal’ surroundings- group challenge 
  • movement
  • more high impact = less time to worry about other small things 
  • sharing one person’s cultural ways of doing things with another’s 
  • exposing the new culture to a different looking person and attributes 
  • new communication techniques, languages and gestures- gettin creative with the basics!
  • stripping away fear’s related to external appearance or impressions- people see when spending time together we are all deep down the same stuff with the same basic needs and concerns 
  • individual confrontation of prejudice, fear, unfamiliarity, anxiety 
  • group dynamics- helping weakest/ challenged members, supporting domineering or controlling members to be better team players
  • organically letting the development flow and introducing new concepts/ techniques in relation to this- lots of cooks in the idea’s kitchen!
  • lots of different people to talk to who share a common interest, and being made to by necessity 
  • learning how do do something new, liberating and fun- instigates a higher level of creativity
  • humour, play and enjoyment 
  • lets re-write that one: play and enjoyment. These are ESSENTIAL building blocks in helping someone learn, retain information long term and instigate changes for the better
  • ya can’t just shimmy out and walk away as easy
  • if it ‘flops’ there is a person there to help 
  • the feeling of belonging, being part of building something bigger than just yourself and making real friendships- this. is. huge.
  • sharing a little hope and joy to those less fortunate or being shown there is help available and other people care- that IPad doesn't hug and touch
  • create positive long-term memories for a person to draw upon- 'kapow' factor!
  • imparting passion- that feeling good and having fun lives within us and in cooperation; by reaching out a person can learn they already have all the skills within them to make things better and improve their heath and surroundings. Positive impact starts with personal responsibility.  
  • con.fi.dence and increased feelings of self worth and value
  • engaged creativity- it's all the peripheral stuff that additionally feeds this machine

What we have in our heads, is far more sophisticated than anything we can can put in our hands or laps ;) 

Sooo because I love doing what I do and want to maximise every avenue available in order to share these gifts while I am away, I have done the following:

I’ve approached the Wellington India Association with the invitation to explore connecting me with their contacts in India to set up an artistic connection between Wellington and cities abroad. I offer organised workshops sharing my knowledge and artistic skills with the local community and the opportunity to be a part of my next exhibition. This will be work inspired and possibly partially created in India. 

I have introduced myself and offered my time, resources and skills to the following galleries for workshops, cultural exchange and interaction while in India:

 CLICK on this map if you would like to see where I am going, and follow the updates as I add to it

CLICK on this map if you would like to see where I am going, and follow the updates as I add to it

Kiriti Gallery- Varanasi

India Art- Pune

Aakriti Art Gallery- New Delhi

I have investigated opportunities through MFAT for new business and cultural relationships between India and New Zealand and how my experience and skills could help construct a new cultural link between both nations. India is advertised as a country high on their priority list to network with and nurture new connections. 

I have personally reconnected with people who have expressed interest in this new adventure through existing contacts and by getting out there and making new ones; and have met with those who have wanted to extend their support either financially, through connections or emotionally. That last one being just as important than the first two!

Most wonderfully, I have made new friends and reconnected with people I have met previously on my travels from around the world who are interested and excited to meet up with me in India and share in the incredible things I am going to create and develop while there. These fantastic souls are musicians, entrepreneurs, people invested and working within their community, designers and artists. I am incredibly excited to have the good fortune to have people to meet while in a new country. 

But hey, lets get real nitty-gritty eh, for most people it comes down to this, ’what’s in it for me if I help fund your endeavour?’. 

I’m going to be frank with you- people who help me do so from the goodness of their heart, and because they like what I create. What is the value of me and my skills in a world based around profit? What is the merit of a person who sees value in things that others disregard? What is the value to the people I encounter, help and spend my time with? 

If you read the post Moxie .:’:. I.N.D.I.A recently (later than published) you may have seen I added in information about bigger projects I am working on which have a greater social and community impact than my creations. These trips, these adventures aren’t me just doing art. India is one of the oldest civilisations on the planet and like Japan, I believe there are valuable things to learn from those who have been doing things longer than others. A culture with this much background is a wealth of ideas to draw from- their empires have been built and destroyed many times over- they have developed and gone through commercialisation many more times than the rest of the world- are they not our future? Is India not what we will be, not what we were?

'Sooo' you ask, 'you haven't answered the question, what do I get?' You get to be associated long-term to a genuine, honest, talented woman who has a bigger and better picture for how we do things and how to help keep each other healthy, and come hell or high water is going to do something about it. You get my time, you receive my respect, you have an honest friendship not built on your wallet but of a true debt that I owe you as a human- you need a hand, I’m there- you have access to a wealth of skills and knowledge- lets talk about how we can help each other; and, if you find yourself drawn to a creation of mine- a wonderful unique artwork. This isn’t everyones thing- if you want a association to the 'art world', galleries and the lifestyle that entails I’m not your woman. But if you can see a bigger picture with me and are curious to seeing how I’m going to pan out and want to be part of it; if you trust me to follow through with what I say, if you see I am genuine in my activity to help others and subsequently work on the ideas I have to build & change things, then you my friend are the type of person I’d like to talk to. 

One very important aspect of motivation is the willingness to stop and to look at things that no one else has bothered to look at. This simple process of focusing on things that are normally taken for granted is a powerful source of creativity.
— Edward de Bono

Don't take me for granted- I'm more than what you may expect. Be creative, take a risk, look a little closer...

Sharing is Caring

Totally unexpectedly (but right on point!) this evening I came across the exquisite film 'Ship of Theseus'.

'Life is Art' and 'Sharing is Caring' are sentiments I live by. This film champions not only these aphorisms but the more expansive concepts of interconnection and kismet that I embrace. 

Ship of Theseus is an eloquent and tender cinematic illustration of the tapestry of interrelation- quite possibly one of the best I have ever seen, if not THE best- yes, very big call, but it really is that good.

I encourage you to take the time to watch this; cinematically it is stunning but the messages within are profound, pertinent and heartfelt. 




LION ... I don't know what to say, words just don't come up to par. 

I didn't 'watch' this movie, I rode a wave of emotion along with it as it tugged and directed all my heart strings. It's absolutely bloody brilliant and incredibly moving.


These also come highly recommended for ya oogling    O-o

Life ❤️ Equations

I wonder if many people have stopped and thought about the process of using the internet- it really is quite a remarkable and personalised thing. We can give two people the exact same topic and because of their power of abstraction, thought, language and selection, be taken through tangents to extraordinary and drastically varied outcomes. Kinda magical don't you think?

Yesterday, in two quite distinctly different situations out doing things I'm passionate about, I came across the same piece of information. A fascinating and heart warming work of penmanship that gave me courage to continue working on some of my more complex conceptualisations. I wanted to share, because no matter what is circulating upstairs, this feeling, this emotion is accessible to everyone because we all have it. It takes a little step- by doing something that you like, or without the movement; by thinking of what brings you joy. It is your entitlement as a human to be able to do this, nurture this and seek more of it; it is what helps us learn, keeps us healthy and what protects us from harm, so with aroha from me to you today- spread a little goodness; it costs absolutely nothing and takes milliseconds to do. One smile shared with another can change a person's day, but five minutes with them, can entirely change their world.

. . .

In the late 1980s, Lieserl, the daughter of the famous genius, donated 1,400 letters, written by Einstein, to the Hebrew University, with orders not to publish their contents until two decades after his death. This is one of them. 

…”When I proposed the theory of relativity, very few understood me, and what I will reveal now to transmit to mankind will also collide with the misunderstanding and prejudice in the world.
I ask you to guard the letters as long as necessary, years, decades, until society is advanced enough to accept what I will explain below.
There is an extremely powerful force that, so far, science has not found a formal explanation to. It is a force that includes and governs all others, and is even behind any phenomenon operating in the universe and has not yet been identified by us.

This universal force is LOVE.
When scientists looked for a unified theory of the universe they forgot the most powerful unseen force.

Love is Light, that enlightens those who give and receive it.
Love is gravity, because it makes some people feel attracted to others.

Love is power, because it multiplies the best we have, and allows humanity not to be extinguished in their blind selfishness. Love unfolds and reveals.

For love we live and die.
Love is God and God is Love.

This force explains everything and gives meaning to life. This is the variable that we have ignored for too long, maybe because we are afraid of love because it is the only energy in the universe that man has not learned to drive at will.

To give visibility to love, I made a simple substitution in my most famous equation.

If instead of E = mc2, we accept that the energy to heal the world can be obtained through love multiplied by the speed of light squared, we arrive at the conclusion that love is the most powerful force there is, because it has no limits.
After the failure of humanity in the use and control of the other forces of the universe that have turned against us, it is urgent that we nourish ourselves with another kind of energy…

If we want our species to survive, if we are to find meaning in life, if we want to save the world and every sentient being that inhabits it, love is the one and only answer.
Perhaps we are not yet ready to make a bomb of love, a device powerful enough to entirely destroy the hate, selfishness and greed that devastate the planet.

However, each individual carries within them a small but powerful generator of love whose energy is waiting to be released.
When we learn to give and receive this universal energy, dear Lieserl, we will have affirmed that love conquers all, is able to transcend everything and anything, because love is the quintessence of life.

I deeply regret not having been able to express what is in my heart, which has quietly beaten for you all my life. Maybe it’s too late to apologize, but as time is relative, I need to tell you that I love you and thanks to you I have reached the ultimate answer! “.

Your father Albert Einstein

. . .


Why do you feel entitled to a life without pain, yet filled with love?


GTG- Going. To. Ground; the misunderstood baby of the Creative Process

Over the last eight months I decided to take a closer inspection of my personal creative process. A logical and systematic study of the methodology and symptoms of each of the passages I work through, in correlation with creative patterns I had already ascertained. Each time I decide what I want to achieve next, I go through this process. We all live an emotional line which waves and dips, yet I feel compelled to share my recognition of some of the more difficult side to being able to make ideas become tangible, because this part is very rarely discussed and I believe, it’s actually the most important and valuable part.

Each time incrementally the stakes get higher; as in I propel myself though a more challenging state of change with more audacious projects because the evaluation of my limits, the risk involved and skill base has changed and grown. These ‘states’ are not all pretty, and although there is a lot of understanding out there about making and creating; the therapeutic outlet or physical result and beauty of creativity, very few people talk about the complications and challenging passages within the same context. 'Creative Process' is just art wank snobbery- we all live this pattern in varying degrees; where I draw another does sums, where I fly another gardens... 'creativity', in my opinion, essentially is listening to yourself and what makes you fizz.

Growing up in Wellington, an uber artistic town, has given me a unique insight into how we think, make and behave, and how this works and shapes a community. What I have noticed through my own life, and by being gifted with the ability to critique and reflect on my own process is that the ‘down’ side is right where the intervention of medicine, detrimental clinical and social evaluation and the labelling of psychological ‘disorders’ or symptoms (either self diagnosed or external) can come in. Raise the hands for a stress jammer, a blank out, pain relief and a comfort giver; Western culture point ya fingers at eccentric, out-there, weird, crazy or sick. I think this is also why a lot of people hide away and deal with these patches in private- it’s not easy not having it together all the time, and who wants to open themselves up to others for judgement on top of it?!

In the past I have tried all sorts of different strategies for self-help in these times and it is in these periods that if the sensitive creative brain is allowed to go a little too loose in it’s own attempt to remedy itself, that the shit can start to go pretty pear shaped. The most powerful help is talking. Why I am talking and writing is because as we evolve and become better at doing things, humans also become less tolerant to fixing bumps with hard work and time and want easy answers to bad stuff which is the better-at-doing-things brother from another mother. Re: previous post, ignorant appraisal is undone by open communication.

In my teens after battling with depression I tried medication. I lasted about two weeks. It made me feel ‘just below’ the living line and it killed any type of colour or creative spark I had in me. I felt in a fog, I feel beige and my vision and recognition of colours and concepts slid off and was muted. But I also knew that my behaviour was not helping. I was drinking heavily, I wasn't sleeping, I was in a very complex living situation, having just turned 16 I was at university and working to support myself; diet was completely up the whack and I was partying like a ninja- wild extravagant awesomeness but with complicated repercussions. I knew by being honest with myself, that that spark was actually my ticket to life and that my conduct and the situations I was into needed to be adjusted, NOT the spark. 

I knew what I felt and I knew I had to work through organising myself by doing the hard yards or the alternative was mighty unappealing, also I could see a pattern and was intrigued about it- I knew then that the dark was as valid a part of my gift as the light. Plus I came up with some pretty cool stuff in those patches. I also had recognition from within my family that this was something I could learn how to manage and use to my advantage- very important opportunity there. I was encouraged to understand and to sense what happened or changed within myself and to notice patterns. My family heritage is very scientific/medical/mathematical and very creative/artistic (Oh and racing drivers, an art historian, explorers, a prime minister and persons of political standing, gold miners, a land information strategist, a missionary to China, agriculturalists, a bareback hose riding milliner- and that's only a selection of recent generations...umm rather strong willed souls…) but on track, what I want to illustrate is that patterns of thought and emotion were already recognised within my family- coupled with a ‘get on with it and sort it out’ attitude. I could talk my way in and around a psychoanalyst like a corkscrew; it was up to me to get through this, tbh- no-one else had the skills because no-one else had the whole back history of what happened and was happening, and it was so goddamn unusual and complex by that time I couldn't be bothered trying to explain it all. 

3rd stage of creative process is the ‘this is shit/ I am shit’ area, Otherwise known as ‘going to ground’, ‘working through the nobblies’ or ‘dropping out of the system’; its not really physical, this very hardest part of the process is psychological, but it does have physical fallout. It. Is. Really. Difficult. It is where questioning, doubt, anixety, freakouts towards self abilities, self loathing and the unnerving state of living with a different brain activity resides. It is dark, can feel unending and hopeless, and very confusing. To me it feels like being shattered and rebuilt; not only in the project, but in my spirit. It is an integral part of the process, yah, pain and payoff, but as I have got older I have recognised I can also do something productive and target a mental attribute in here alongside working on an idea. I go for something that’s hindering me, festering and is a part of my soul that needs to be unpackaged, remedied and resolved. Not fixed- it’s not broken, it just needs some attention. It is a roadblock to the other side; undertaking has an open-ended timeframe, there is no schedule within this sector; its a progressive process, and it is extraordinary mentally and physically draining, but there is a wonderful feeling of success by getting over the Bog of Eternal Stench. Actually- it really is just like getting held up with Sir Didymus chewing the fat. 

Let’s call this ‘going to ground’ as GTG for the sake of my digits and getting this out eh! 

The symptoms can be pretty terrifying towards the climax of it- it seems to have an upward bell curve. Exhaustion, excema, hypna and hypnogogic (a type of pre and post-sleep sensory hallucination/ audio/ dream state that happens on the edge of consciousness), muscular tension, cravings (for all sorts of things, other ideas; relief really, it’s the point where we hit being creatively over it), very little quality sleep once ya finally get in there aaand the ‘racing-head-state’. This is when it is in hyperdrive. It really is nuts over this period and it can be very scary; continually bouncing around contemplating and searching for things. Once the key emotional concept or idea abstraction has been resolved and illuminated however, quite literally overnight, everything clears up. Actually, that’s kind of scary also because you could really be forgiven for thinking this is all completely nuts- because it is conceptual. There is no physical ball clinking down a slide saying ‘HEY! Ureka! You got it!!’ I just know within myself I’ve had a ‘Ureka!’ and that the circle has past GO again. 

Lets roll with this ball image. Because I actually visualise my ideas like that. When I am thinking about what I want to do next, what I'm aspiring towards, what helps others and what is challenging; + if it has become time for a very big overhaul then who and what I want to be, look & behave like, in come the balls and the basket. 

I am not only thinking about what I want to achieve, but I am very detailed about aesthetics, logistics, practise and what I need to know within this too. Into the basket over the weeks, months and much longer, ‘big’ heavy ideas come down, quite distinct from general brain chatter ideas and fill it up, sometimes some get taken out and replaced with others, and other times a particular ball grows in complexity. Every day I take them out and play with them, thinking about the attributes and making physical actions towards the things I can do that add towards each. The basket slowly becomes filled with usually about 7 orbiting biggies which break down into more elaborate subcategories- ha, that took a while to figure the gauge. Yer, actually visualised in a whicker basket (my Nana and I used to collect flowers in it), each a different colour and moving, changing and dynamic like nebula. I can slide into each and see how they are progressing. They are things I am working on, things I want to do, make and achieve and all manner of other things, but there is also always one ball about my personal identity- which contains a quality I would like to better, learn, refine or remove and facets within this of my relationships with others, the environment and myself. The diversity of these keeps in balance my obsessive tendency by giving me the freedom to swap between things, especially if one has stalled... or perhaps just spread out that obsession lol

After each ‘project’ or transition, in a type of summary I file and shelve the baskets which pack down origami style from 3D to 2D and are organised into a big khaki metal filing cabinet ‘long term memory’… funnily from my dad’s office that I used to go to when I was a child... I wonder if the next generation thinks of an app logo?? I often go back in this space when I need to dig around for something and re-inflate baskets and withdraw balls. Sometimes searching for a tool or experience which can help in the present, sometimes looking for inspiration or a piece of the jigsaw for an idea. These are decades old- my memory is gargantuan and I can recall events, imagery, sensory incidents, ideas and thoughts back to being a very new infant- wooow I hear you say, yet this has very much been a double edged sword of a gift; it comes with recollection of every bad thing in just as vivid detail.

In my working headspace there are different baskets in circulation too, projects floating in foreground and background and they are not static, they elevate or diminish depending on requirements and validity. Most people try obsessing about an idea with total surrender or desire when they imagine their future partner; holding onto the concept and furnishing it over time. I have trained myself to do just this but over many diverse ideas & investments, and to sustain the development over months and often years. The cool thing about doing this is that these 'dreams', these ideas significantly impact what we do and who we are, because we collect and input activities and behaviours which match our vision. This is why I love encouraging people to find what they love, because by building towards something amazing, fun and great, it in turn helps the individual become just the same thing. Gawd, I could start getting really in depth, but I think it's best I keep to simple in this blog right or things are going to get sqiggly… and well, I prefer organically sharing things with people when the right time arrises within conversations that have relevance to the parties involved.

Dealing with festers, parts I don't like about myself and just general total questioning and tip-the-whole-fucking-thing-upside-down-and-shake-it-it-all-needs-to-be-rearranged mentality is what comes up in the already complex GTG area- yerp, when it rains it pours. Validating it is the mucho grande super key component, it becomes as important as the other balls. Over time, this allows me to come to a level of understanding about whatever it is that time and let it slide away. It’s like a pay-off. This process is only my process because of how I am built and what I can and cannot live with based on my morals and thought patterns, but I know others feel and go through a very similar pattern. My focus (interchange with obsessive nature- these qualities aren't to be scared of; they are mighty useful when channeled into the right zone and honestly, success comes snuggled up with addiction and obsession; it's a matter of dealing with it not being scared of it) knows that my brain needs a type of clarification or monkey chews in loop. I don't like loops, I like resolutions so I can grow into the next thing. Writing about this makes it sound if everything is judged and rigid but it’s not like that, less anal retentive and more playful organic perhaps. Planned and unplanned, flow & structure, control and fluidity; little curling mind waves. Sometimes resolution is quick, other times not so as it bubbles along at life flow.

Over the proceeding project and in the new idea phase, pointers and markers within me and my experiences direct me to what this next dark baby is. There is no question in my heart what it is by the time the balls are clear- there is actually no denying it within myself, and if I try to do so, things happen to very clearly remind me that I cannot wiggle away. In lieu of having bairns of my own I have behaved as if mother to my existence through my actions and my ideas- I think that's a rather wonderful way to exist and fascinatingly there are similarities in timeframe also. 

Structured art making is the precursor to GTG. This is a happy and light stage; usually production of the resolution of ideas from the previous project experience, recently London and The Hague. In one light it is not the ‘real’ hard work. I would say that the sailing through the darker waters is actually the greatest art in itself, actually, lets go bigger than that, I really think the best art we make IS life, yes- we are all artists. 'Dark' is not necessarily sad either, it's a different type of energy or situation than that; it's like an emotionally dense and invested area- it can be happy but there is a lot going on.

In the past I have caused myself serious physical damage by not gauging what level of physical activity I can couple with my headspace at this particular time. I have realised I require habitual activities which are not high impact because I hurt myself if I do that- not in accidents but in quantity. I don't realise I’m pushing too hard because I’m trying balance out the level of stress and processing that’s going on in the noggin. Yoga, squash, cardio, swimming, and many others have been in that slot and although they work for the mental side, I have a tendency to take the amount into the extreme because brain is going gogogo- and so body gets pushed to gogogo also. I am a very tenacious animal. Incoming: collateral damage: I put my physical health secondary. Those activities I am passionate about can come back in at a different stage, but I have to be very aware within GTG what I choose and in what proportion. This time my new activities were teaching myself to ride my bicycle with no hands (that's around corners too) and standing tree pose for extended periods with my eyes closed. As I mature, I am better at being able to cut myself some cord and validate taking care of myself- but I think this is what is very challenging maybe more so for some of us than others. Yeah, yeah ‘take care of yourself’ we hear, um- yeah, I am trying to, but I don't have an off switch and I'm focused on bigger things. 

Overall the whole system is quite balanced- hence my assimilation with yin and yang, juxtapositions and spectrums because this is a direct reflection of living for me- OOOooo idea! Love it.. hmm hate it… Ok, not so bad.. Ok yeah, really fucking love it! Yet, it takes exertion to get it circulating and keep it so; making choices to change and focus attitudes. Perhaps a more accurate image which correlates to yin and yang, is this system as like ascending a spiral staircase where the light bulbs have blown in spots; the stairs are still there it just takes care, use of different senses and a change of pace to continue escalating. Aim of the game is to advance and make the next progressive move in order to not be stuck on a landing on the same level, or dip backwards; all about timing and sometimes requiring hanging out for a while rather than moving. Duality is the nature of life; where in one place it is day, another has dipped into night. When one is happy, another is sad; when it is summer in one location, another shivers in winter; where a new life is born, another passes away. Without this darkness the very essence of creativity wouldn't exist as it is itself; the left to it's right, the hot to it's cold, the back to it's front. 

Cognisant thought and vivid memory has at points made me scared in my life. I am super aware of my conscious; of decisions and why I am doing something. I can give you a very direct reason for every single decision dating way, way back and the ramifications and relationships that has to other components. That has been challenging in my life to learn how to deal with. Awake, and asleep- but what do you do when there is much more ‘awake’ going on and very, very little 'sleep'?! Well, you naturally want to knock yourself out a notch right. All of us do to a certain extent with anything that brings ease; everything has a time and place. We share a very basic primal need for hugs of brain and body.

Unfortunately because of the level of energy zipping in at times, sometimes the more gentle avenues of comfort don't work so well, and some things that others can use have disastrous consequences due to my mental and chemical make up or because I abused them in the past; i.e. sugar. I make my own choices on my own needs and feelings, but over the years not all of these were fantastic, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do and learn through the process. Looking at static sitting meditation for example, my tolerance is comparatively low. It took me a while to realise through all this guru competition and advice out there that my activities were meditation but at a different levels. The experiences I felt as I ‘popped to the left’ or found another space in my cognisant awareness where the motor was powering away in one room, but I had slipped off to another, was a powerful thing to realise. I have been immensely fortunate in my life to be able to fight for what I love, what makes me fizz and happy and hardline into these spaces. It is why I am passionate about helping others find what they adore also, because pinpointing a fizz = happy = learning & retaining = inspiration = healthy = constructive existence.

All the activities and passions I adore and have excelled at were initially introduced or imparted to me through people I have loved, admired and respected (or I was told I 'couldn't do it')- I think there is nothing cooler than being able to pass this type of connection and inspiration on to others. The only control one can have over these life changing meetings is by following what we love to become better and happier people- kinda simple equation aint it- yet the simplest things can often be the most challenging. Affluence affords the ability for a person to make more choices based on feelings rather than solving restrictions, but when you don't have this resource, nor emotional support to have the courage to fight for these pleasures, life becomes immensely more challenging and complex. A little encouragement, a little investment of one-on-one time, goes an incredibly long way in helping another find surety within themselves, their esteem and ideas, and ultimately their success. Interestingly however, life has a way of working with us and helping out with this equation the more that’s powered into it both in action and belief.

My church has two wheels, snow underfoot, clouds as the congregation and a pounding base line like a heartbeat as hymns. The infinite combination of inconsistencies and conditions are my playground and often the adversity of these combinations where I find delight. High winds, night-time, low visibility and howling storms bring me a sense of contentment and connection to being alive; immersed within the energy surrounding me and I perform better within this. The theatricality of my homelands' weather playing a huge part within my comfort and conditioning. I don’t care about where the 'creative process' leads, I just enjoy the moment it currently positions me within. What's the meaning to it all? I'm not interested in figuring that out, or, well there isn't one really to me- I just get on with it is as best possible; I love experiencing all the kaleidoscopic variations. Experiencing not recording- you won't find me with a Go-Pro or camera attached to me or posting heaps of action things- I'm playing not faffing and fucking around, and I'm not interested in participating with others who recording-shaking-their-tail-feathers comes primary to getting out there. Privacy and discretion are important qualities to me and who I am with at the time are the most important people who deserve my undivided and full attention. 

I get bored by things I have followed through to fulfilment, or worked through previously, so crave the next step up. Actually I cannot keep humming harmoniously unless I continue to find the next step up because what worked in the past was a for a different me at a different stage, with a different set of variables. ‘Step up’ isn't necessarily an evaluated risk either, it can be, but it also can be just something different. I am far more interested in experiences rather than things and testing out knowledge or phycological tools- hence me shoving my gluttonous spectrum back into a nicer area, or maybe just internalising where it’s not so obvious lol. Actually I think I’m happy to admit that- I’m a mind pig. Sharing time is my #1 most valuable and luxurious commodity.

Determining a safe living environment is immensely important and challenging; predominantly because I do so many different things with a high proportion of change. This time it was much less about supplying and more about reduction or removing. The more you travel, the more you know you need less, and I get a great sense of satisfaction from resolving things using limited resources. I need a little stress to learn, but I am particular about why and where and how much, especially as I can veer quite easily into whoop-nelly-put-the-brakes-on-how-the-hell-did-that-all-get-there territory. Sometimes heart decisions propel me to do something that only later is revealed how important it was for me to jump at that time. Selling Maria on the way back from the Netherlands is a prime recent example. It felt right (in a sad way), the right people had come to light and the process was smooth, it was the ‘right’ thing to do on a emotional, logistical and financial basis, but it wasn’t until later I saw how not having access to being able to jump in my car was a useful tool; some of the best are the missing ones. My car had also become an identity hairy handbrake- I had grown through that woman and wanted to become my next incarnation.

The equation of boredom + self absorption +  loneliness (not of people, it's a deeper current) + propensity for greed/ lust/ gluttony (ideas, information, and knowledge; consumption | production & receptor | creator out of balance) = Miss Murcott on the brink of a not good coping strategy and needing self intervention. Self intervention foremost- not action, information, or any other thing but to stop, un-package, breathe and give recognition to not feeling great- validation is tremendously important for me. Location: DEFCON 5; if I shoved anxiety or negative sensations under the blanket at this point I used to resort to a pervious not so good fill. That used to be hard when I was tired, stressed, confused/ feeling isolated; a little lost within an activity, been travelling for many hours or was in GTG. However, understanding this pattern was essential learning in order to become the woman I am, undertake the complex things I do, and develop further within the lifestyle I adore. Most of the time I succeed, and on occasion I epic-ly flop but Ill let ya in on something, as soon as we can define and talk about something, very quickly that thing starts to diminish and become manageable. Without these qualities, I would never have become so good or tenaciously invested into things in the first place; often the compulsion to do something amazing comes from the fire/ anger/ pain of something quite opposite.

Oh, but wait, if you're thinking this is elaborate enough there is another pattern that is added to this as a woman. The monthly cycle of hormonal, physical and emotional complexities associated to just being born in these amazing bodies. What is depression, what is pre-menstrual tension, what is related to the idea, what's just grumpy tummy?! We are built to be the greatest creators of our species, but this comes with intricate attributes. It is like a giant tapestry of different lines of coloured emotional flux and wane; incredibly complex and unique to each of us. Unless I wanted a catalogue of definitions, I was quite happy to discard the labels; rise to the challenge and navigate each day, each combination with it's own countermeasure. The recognition of these patterns are as important as the former- because yes, at some point both GTG and this will align, and whoah nelly that’s one to sail.

As a woman creative in particular there are interesting additional challenges related to this existence, but where I found strength because early on it was like ‘so, we are trying to medicate the essence of what I’m born as/ with?!’. If you know a young creative, perhaps now with a different perspective, the challenges of not only all this, but the pressures of identity, body image, bullying through social media, a recording device every turn just ready to catch you as you discover, explore and play; societal pressure to behave and look a certain way, oh plus figure out what you do and are of corse; you can seriously be forgiven for transgressions no? Actually I think we have a bigger problem with the next generations in that they are too scared to actually let loose. Because what you learn in this necessary process is that you are not the centre of the Universe, no-one really gives a shit and that ya need to get over yourself. Doing something a little too much and going a bit far teaches us a very valuable lesson involving ego and entitlement- a young person can't get this 'oh!' if they can't push the envelope.

There is absolutely no question that there is a particular demographic and profile which is more susceptible to having some complicated challenges, but they are only that. Attributes come with problems, and problems come with attributes. 'Naughty' more often than not, is 'bored' and 'mighty smart' in a misunderstood and frustrated package. I used control over my weight and body image as a young person as a tool for me to retreat back into working with and untangling the first puzzle I had be born with; I wasn't ready for round two at age 10. Nor for the revelations of quite unusual gifts and the awareness that came with so young. My revenge upon the world for complicating my existence by giving me all these cool qualities but quandaries that went with, was to take that fire and turn it internal. It’s hard to talk as an adult- but yet we expect a child and teen to be able to articulate intense feelings from complex circumstances?! It's not an unusual tactic for smart cookies to resort to behaviours which alter sensory perception in the attempt to reprogram themselves and find contentment- strategies that with the influx in accessible information/ knowledge/ introspection and loneliness, will become more and more prevalent within society as we progress. If a person is making stuff or participating in forms of expression; i.e. changing and playing; they're feeling things- these creations say a huge amount about how they are processing life- less focus on the stuff, more on the feel

All of this sequence recognition takes a significant amount of time, modern world you just don't like this. It also takes a huge amount of faith and belief in personal processes and composition. Some physical; anatomical, biological and hereditary, some cerebral and sensory, and some esoteric. I believe that no way is 'the' way, we are all made up differently- no metaphysical, therapeutic or psychological way by itself has all the answers because that is hooning in one direction with blinkers on. Many terms and classifications are interchangeable too; they are the same thing from different angles. Plus, science has no grasp on feeling- we are utterly unique in how we individually perceive this, there are many variations in intensity and subtle differences between qualities. It takes recognition and use of the whole system together to get this human safe and healthy.

Life can be pretty hypocritical; many 'bad' things are 'good' in different packages, it's just society has attached stigmas associated to one and not the other. My reality sees it that if something is enjoyable and productive then it is valuable, I make my own opinion about whether a tag is relevant. I wanted to learn about myself and who I am by doing the hard yards because I knew I could make myself well, and that the well went with the unwell hand-in-hand. I think this is where the modern world is getting to a bit o’ a problem. We are well and unwell, but people would rather not admit that. There is a lot of fear and competition about pain. A traumatic life experience for me may be just as significant and as painful to you as burning the cookies with all sorts of expectations and pressures tied in. In my experience, the proportion of trauma is always balanced out by periods of healing; what goes up, must come down and vica versa. When a child is screaming after falling over and grazing their knees, we instinctively give love, compassion, recognition to the experience and validate that they are hurting- why is it that as adults this pattern is forgotten? It is only the ego that has an age- the soul is still the child wanting a hug and to be told it's ok. 

We never really grow up; we only learn how to act in public.
— anon

A huge reason why I went to Japan was because my soul was missing a jigsaw piece of a spiritual element, and I knew it was there. I don't know how, sometimes I just know things; I completely trust my intuition for my requirements. We all have special gifts for our stories but there is a vast amount of work involved in order to hone them. 'Follow the dream', hmm, that always sounds like there is a trail to follow, where I see it as a seek-&-discover and a build in progress through choices. I have resolved many dreams and mastered different vocations (or portions of bigger visions depending on which perspective is taken); one of my special knacks is that I relish, enjoy and seek growth through change. My life has taught me that you can do anything you set your mind to, but it works like a ripple; each layer building upon the former. My mind may be set on something, but my spirit is the one to guide me through the paths to achieve it. Going gang busters independently from very young has meant my boundaries and seeming limitations have been tested differently to the average and I have learnt and honed a sense of sureness in accordance to this. There is validity in a great variation of purposes, but the individual has to sharpen a sense of intuition in order to learn how to trust themselves through making friends with their mind. Couple that with passion, timing, attitude, tenacity, optimism and woooork, and you've got special sauce in the mix. What cannot be overlooked however, is what price are ya prepared to pay for that vision? There is always consequence. 

Please lets be clear, I am not denying the benefits of medical or clinical intervention, actually quite the opposite- make up your own mind, but we can mend ourselves much better than most people realise. A closer inspection of a need may highlight that a resolution lies in an alternative avenue; just as constructive but without profiteering and fear attached alongside. And without blanketing the emotion or transferring it, rather un-packaging and recognising it; although sometimes we need to procrastinate or chip off a portion in order to get somewhere, and to have fun! Unorthodox often gets slagged as radical or reactionary- but remember, what is now considered 'normal' at one point itself was unconventional. What works for me, won’t be for another because this thing called life is totally unique with a personal collection of skills, viewpoints and things that have happened along a lifetime. I’m shining light on something complex, misunderstood and rarely discussed because when we hear something that resonates with our stories, it has a profound effect on not feeling so much like a satellite. That can be one sentence in a 1000, it doesn’t need to be the whole heaving set. Or another persons experience can ignite an ‘ahuh!’ set of dot connects inside which is coooool as.

Street Art by Eddie Colla

Who I meet along my journey is far more interesting to me than what I accumulate, and those things I do adore I share, use as tools, get the best that I can at the time, play with without abandon and really, really enjoy. Do it once, do it right (and maybe repeat if it's really really great hehe). I have been radiantly flush and I have been stone cold broke for long periods, but often in those latter patches they were the times of the greatest happiness; regardless of either situation I am far more 'rich' than any sum could denominate. I totally fuckin